Yesterday was a beautiful day. I was torn between going to Bolsa Chica and photographing birds or heading to the El Dorado Skate Park for some fun action shots. I think everyone would agree that I have posted plenty of bird shots, but no true action images. So I went with the latter and headed down the road to the park.
If any of you haven't done this, I recommend it. Not only will you get to test your skill and see some sick tricks, but it is a GREAT way to network and meet some of these guys. That was exactly what I did. A big Thank You goes out to all of the guys who allowed me to photograph them, Jonathan Sandoval, Anthony Gonzales, and Kodey Fisher.
I love watching someone grind a rail or get up 10 feet in the air and execute a tailwhip. I watched and photographed a few people who seemed to know what they were doing. I shot for a bit and moved around to get some better images. I really wanted to get a feel for everything and see who was cordial, who was a show-off and who might be there to cause trouble. Fortunately, no one was causing trouble and everyone seemed pretty cool. It wasn't until young Jonathan Sandoval broke the ice that I really got into it. He and his boys were skateboarding on the far side of the park. When I got over to him he had already locked on to the fact that I was shooting photos. He called out to me and asked me to catch him doing a trick. I told him to work his magic. His first couple were just a bit off because it was so crowded, but once it cleared he was able to land some nice moves. Here is one of my favorite shots of him. The color is straight out of the camera, I didn't tweak that at all.
As I was shooting Jonathan, another skater, Anthony Gonzales, came up and asked me to catch him doing something (sorry guys, my terminology is not up to par). I shot a few, but it again was too crowded, so we moved over to the rail. He wanted to pull off a trick and have me capture it. He got off to a good start and finished it well. This was one of the shots I like of him. He just lifted off and is about to make contact with the rail... but you can see that.
About this time I was standing behind a group of guys and girls that seemed to 'manage' the park. They weren't harsh with anyone, but everyone seemed to respect them and I figured they were the guys to talk to. I started showing some of my images from earlier of a guy who introduced himself as Kodey Fisher. This was one of the first images of Kodey on a scooter.
They all enjoyed looking at the first shots I took. Kodey dropped a few hints that he'd like to pull off a tailwhip on the far side so I told him to do it up whenever he was ready. I wanted to get some shots from far away and some up close. I caught a few of him across the way. They were cool, but I wanted more action. On his way back, Kodey made a jump right in front of us that was sweet. Here he is at the peak.
When Kodey pulled up to check out the shots, he made a recommendation to me. Now, many photographers I know would be tweaked at a young guy giving us tips on where to stand or do our job. I used to be one of them and still have a lot to learn, but I figured that Kodey knew his park, where he would land and how I could catch him in the peak of his trick. So I chatted for a few minutes and made my way to the far side and set up. I waited for a few minutes and then he got his chance. Kodey hit the pipe at near-perfect speed and this was the result. This move had finesse and you had to be there to appreciate it.
So if you haven't heard of Kodey Fisher, you have now and you will in the future. This kid will be up there. Anyone interested in sponsoring this young lad? He needs a sponsor for the circuit and you can help. If you are interested, let me know and I will relay the messgae to Mr. Fisher and you guys can work out the details.
I had a great time and met some cool people. Thanks you guys. I have more to post at some point. Maybe they'll get posted in the paper and maybe not, but you guys can count on seeing them up here. I may head back there today, so tell your friends.
If you or your friends need pictures for school, family or fun... look me up. My wife and I do senior portraits, weddings, family portraits and much more. We'll make sure you have the best experience ever.
Have a great weekend and aim high!